Mill Bridge Gallery’s new exhibition, opening on April 5th reflects the influences of the beautiful landscapes, seas and sunshine of the Greek and Spanish islands
Both uplifting and thought-provoking, the exhibition combines pottery by Ikaria Ceramics and mixed media paintings by Marisa Marquez.
Richard (Bill) Smith and Eleni (Elli) Tsakalou’s ceramics are influenced by many years living and travelling in Greece and the Greek islands of Leros, Crete and Ikaria.
Bill, originally from Ilkley, has exhibited widely in Greece, winning many prizes for his Raku and smoked fired vases and vessels.
Elli has also exhibited widely, and her delicate Parian porcelain work can be found in public and private collections in Greece.
Bill And Elli opened a studio and gallery on Ikaria in 2001, and their combined work formed Ikaria Ceramics. Now based in the UK, they continue to practice their art, creating ever changing unique ceramic forms.
Marisa was born in Morocco, lived in Spain and Majorca, and sailed the world for many years before visiting and making Skipton her home 6 years ago. Her paintings are inspired by her travels and her love of Yorkshire: the beauty of nature, rugged landscapes, and changing skies. Marisa has exhibited widely in Spain, Majorca and London.
Bill says about his work exhibited in the Mill Bridge Gallery exhibition: “After many years making ceramics with a simplicity or severity of form I have recently changed direction. My work has taken on a new meaning with the use of more colour. I use the sgraffito technique of surface decoration, multiple layers of coloured clay slips applied over the basic form. Between these layers I paint symbols or figures which only become visible when I cut through the surface to reveal the underlying colours”.
Elli describes her new work as largely inspired by nature: “The flowing sensual forms found in all plant and animal life, both above and below sea level. I am currently working almost exclusively with Parian Porcelain, which when fired gives the impression of sculptured marble. This makes it ideal for both the sculptures and the soft flowing bowl forms that I make.
In this exhibition it is my aim to bring awareness to the destruction of the world’s coral reefs, that of coral bleaching. The world’s coral are dying. This is the direct result of the increasing temperature of the seas. Stony coral builds the iconic tropical coral reef networks that dominate many shallow-water environments, harboring more than one-third of the oceans' biodiversity.
In the program to “save the planet” our first priority has to be saving the marine environment on which the planet as a whole is dependent. Healthy Ocean, Healthy Planet”.
Marisa’s new works are mixed media collages, using acrylic, fabrics, sand and other found materials. They are her responses to the beauty she sees around her: uplifting works inspired by the joy Marisa finds in nature and the process of creating. Her paintings are her way of sharing her passion and the positive feelings art can evoke.
All three artists will be at the preview evening at Mill Bridge Gallery on Friday April 5th from 6-8pm. The exhibition runs until Saturday the27th and the gallery is open Thursday – Saturday 11-4pm, and at other times by arrangement.